Plein Air Painting

Landscape painting is not my forte, but I’ve been giving it a try this week. I love the whole idea of painting outside. When I do, I see so much more of the beauty in nature, and sitting in one place painting quiets my soul in a way few other things do.

It is wonderful to sit on a dock, quietly painting and pondering, while the sky goes from blue to orange to pink. Sometimes I meditate or pray while I paint, but more often my mind is calm and still and I am just in the moment. This is something I plan to do a lot more of this summer.

This week on the Outer Banks, I’ve been sur-rounded by beauty. Sunsets, sunrises, dunes, Currituck Sound, Currituck Beach Lighthouse, crashing waves, a calm early morning sea, and more. I wish I could paint it all, but am hampered by both time and ability, but I’ve done some painting. None turned out fabulously, but each is an enjoyable reminder of time spent pleasantly.

I painted some of these alone, some with Steve, one with Arielle, and one with Jonathan. Somehow having my hands occupied keeps my mind from wandering and makes it easier to relax and focus on conversation (or meetings, sermons, or lectures).

I find it so much easier to paint animals, and it occured to me today that perhaps I should try to paint a landscape the same way I paint an animal. Look for the areas of light and dark and think about where I want detail and where I can leave it loose. I can hardly wait to go work on a dunes painting I started yesterday, keeping those thoughts in mind.